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Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond
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Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  295 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In this eloquent first-person account of a family drama that changed the face of American business, the man who transformed IBM into the world's largest computer company reflects on his lifelong partnership with his father--and how their management style and shared dedication to excellence united to create a unique corporate culture that became the blueprint for the entire ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 29th 2000 by Bantam (first published May 1st 1990)
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Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad. More of one man's memoir's and his coming to terms with his relationship with his father. Still, got it for $1 at a book fair and it was a fairly interesting yarn.
A little depressing to read about the opulence that is afforded a man who heads a billion dollar company.
Though, at the cost of alienating his entire family and pushing his wife out the door.
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
The son of IBM’s founder, Thomas Watson Jr.’s “Father, Son & Co.” is many things: a collection of folksy business wisdom passed down by his father, memories and recollections of his participation as an airman in World War II and later a US diplomatic career in the USSR, a story about the challenges of growing a global business, lessons in leadership and team building, the pitfalls of transforming an business organization from small scale to large scale and, most importantly, a personal refle ...more
Evan Crane
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good read if you currently or have worked at IBM. Outlines the development and evolution of company culture and rise of a great American Company. Identifies some early pitfalls and how they got around them.
Dan (R.D.) Bland (Greenfield)
Should be mandatory reading for business students.
This is ONE OF THE BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHIES I'VE EVER READ. Watson --- the son of "the first chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM), who oversaw that company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956" --- speaks candidly, and at times, with deep humility, about his life, career and his relationships with his family, IBM colleagues, and friends (many of whom were numbered among the most notable or distinguished scientists, politicians, and artists of the 20th century). ...more
Mark Bunch
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Get book.
June Ding
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fasinating read about the life story of two legends in computer history. A father and the son who grew up rich and lived in the shadow of his successful and over powering father. It is a candid account on his lack of confidence , poor grade and rebellious behaviour growing up; his decent into depression and his young brother's breathing problem under the pressure from their father. Not the kind of life you'd imagined for a rich man's kid who never had to worry about money and lived with privil ...more
Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
In hard times, he saw opportunity. ~ Thomas J. Watson Jr., Father, Son & Co., Page 33 (Speaking of his father Thomas J. Watson Senior, founder of IBM)

I found this book to be an honest account of the son of the IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr.

Thomas J. Watson Jr. shares with his readers what it was like to grow up with a father who owned a company that provides business machines to the world.

He takes his readers through the journey of his younger years, to becoming the head of IBM, to retir
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I found it to be a very honest documentary. A little bit long, but had some very interesting sections. Watson Jr.’s role in WWII was very interesting. The race to get to market with the latest and best technology set the pattern that future market leaders still fight with to this day. Watson’s work as an ambassador to Russia after his time at IBM and slightly before the Afgan war was very interesting.
Aug 30, 2007 added it
Shelves: 900biography
My dad worked for IBM for 25 years beginning with the time when TJ Watson Jr ran the show.

An interesting read if your life included IBM in the 70s.

People who are also sons/daughters in a family business would find it an interesting read as Watson illuminates his challenges of living in the shadow of the founder of IBM.
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, business
A fascinating history of IBM and the development of technology in the mid-20th century, made a much more satisfying read by the concurrent theme of a challenging but ultimately fulfilling father-son relationship in the context of one of the most prominent companies of all time.
Crstengel Stengel
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
A compelling interweaving of classic American business history with the tale of growing up as a rebellious son of a frequently overbearing father. If you're into American tech/business history, this book is a must!
Jul 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Watson Jr.'s tale of discovery is honest and telling, but the description of IBM's development reads like a staid chronology than a personal recountment.
Paul Cookson
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great insight into life and business.
Drew Maliniak
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ghostwritten but excellent depth
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
great history of IBM. tells how IBM bet the company on 360, I have an autographed copy..
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
An apparently honest - right or wrong - description of the tug or war between self and father and son.
Bill Zhou
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
The founder of IBM, or the story of founders.

IBM is called as "Big Blue", due to Thomas Watson Jr.
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“… as I associated with more and more different types, I realized that to make it, you had to get along with almost everybody. If you dislike the people you work with, you’d better not show it. I learned that to be a good leader, I had to strike a delicate balance.” 2 likes
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